Child Abuse

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Child abuse is any non accidental injury to a child, including hitting and slapping.

After the recent arrest of a Cottonwood mother, officials are speaking out about it.

Jennifer Metcalf of Cottonwood was arrested for paddling her 5-year-old son with a hair brush and paddle.

The young boy reportedly had bruises on his left upper arm, both legs and buttocks.

So, what is the limit when it comes to spanking your children?

Department of Human Resources Worker Donna Clark says a red mark on the buttocks is fine, but bruises on the stomach area or other areas are unacceptable.

Child Advocacy Director Sherryl Walker says spanking must be done in the right way.

Use other punishment alternatives like a time out or taking privileges away, and if you chose to spank, don't take it to the extreme.

Also, if there is another way to discipline, spanking should be used as a last alternative.

If you have any more questions about spanking, paddling and child abuse, the Child Advocacy Center and the Wise Center has free parenting classes.

Teachers, law enforcement officials and physicians are mandatory reporters. Therefore, if they even suspect child abuse, they must DHR.